HALDANE, George (1722-59), of Bearcrofts, Stirling, and Gleneagles, Perth.
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Family and Education
bap. 10 July 1722, o.s. of Patrick Haldane. unm.
Ensign 3 Ft. Gds. 1740, capt. and lt.-col. 1749; col. 1758.
Gov. Jamaica, Jan. 1758-d.
George Haldane purchased a commission in the Scots Guards, fought at Dettingen (1743), was severely wounded at Fontenoy (1745), returned to Scotland to recuperate, and, after the battle of Falkirk, joined Granby in pursuit of the rebels. In high favour with Cumberland, he returned to Flanders, distinguishing himself at Roucoux, October 1746, and Lauffeld, July 1747. At the general election of 1747 his father, Patrick, arranged for him to stand for Stirling Burghs, in opposition to a candidate backed by Henry Pelham and the Duke of Argyll. In spite of Pelham’s remonstrances Patrick persisted in his campaign for George, who immediately after Lauffeld obtained election leave from Cumberland, omitting to wait upon Pelham on passing through London, where he had an audience with the Prince of Wales, whom he asked for his interest. Apologizing for George’s behaviour and ultimate victory, Patrick assured Pelham of his loyalty both to Argyll and himself, promising that George ‘as zealous to support his Majesty’s servants as any Member of the House’.1 Nonetheless, the Haldanes obtained no favours: in June 1750 Newcastle refused George a military governorship in Ireland or the governorship of Pendennis castle and Patrick, despite the support of his friends, the Breadalbane family, again failed to obtain a judgeship.2 George himself figures in a Leicester House list of ‘particular friends’ to be brought into Parliament by the Court on the Prince’s accession.3 At the beginning of 1751, after being ‘one of the wannest’ of the pro-government speakers during the debates on the Westminster petition at the opening of the session, he co-operated with Leicester House in the attack on General Philip Anstruther, talking ‘high of enquiries more necessary ... than prosecutions on elections’, till the sudden death of the Prince of Wales, whereupon he moved that the Anstruther affair should be postponed. He remained, however, connected with the Opposition, speaking in January 1752 against the subsidy treaty with Saxony4 and on 4 June 1753 against the clandestine marriage bill. His search for preferment was ultimately rewarded with the governorship of Jamaica, where he died soon after his arrival, 26 July 1759.